The Coast Guard suspended its search for a man early Monday morning after more than 11 hours of combined searching in the vicinity of Whale Cove near Depoe Bay. Now his family is searching for closure.
Hoang Tran, of Clackamas, Ore., was last seen Saturday, Sept. 28 by a bay tower watchstander at Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay heading north at approximately 7 p.m. in the vicinity of Cape Foulweather.
According to Tran’s family, he is no stranger to sailing his vessel, the Kiwanda, which was launched from Newport Saturday. After setting sail in the morning, Tran was due back home that night, according to his daughter Andrea Tran.
“We have tried calling him on his cellphone but it goes directly to voicemail,” Andrea, a recent graduate of Portland State University said. “My mother and baby brother, age 8, are completely distraught and devastated. This is not like my father; he is a counselor at Franklin High School in Portland, Ore.
He always communicates with us with his whereabouts and is always home at the time that he specifies.”
The Tran family then informed the Coast Guard station in Newport about a possible man missing at sea. Coast Guard Sector North Bend then coordinated eight combined searches, which were conducted by an MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Air Facility Newport, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay and Lincoln County Rescue.
“All searches resulted in negative results,” stated the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector North Bend received a report at 11:42 a.m. Sunday from a source on land that sighted vessel debris in the vicinity of Whale Cove, approximately one-mile south of Depoe Bay.
A 47-foot MLB crew and a Dolphin helicopter crew launched and arrived on scene to commence searching at 12:10 p.m.
At 12:47 p.m. Lincoln County Rescue and a Station Depoe Bay ground party arrived at Whale Cove and launched a drone to survey from above.
The reported floating debris field was located by responders, and the debris found was confirmed to be from the overdue sailing vessel Kiwanda. Coast Guard crew members recovered several items from the area including: wood, a life jacket, part of a marine sanitation device and a strobe light with the name of the vessel written on it.
Although Hoang Tran has not been located at this time, his family is remaining hopeful.
“My brother is eight years old and the thought of not having a father to help be a key role model to guide my brother in life is unthinkable,” Andrea Tran said. “We are pleading with the community if anyone can volunteer their time to help us search for my father. He could still be alive on the sea or washed up on shore.”
Hoang Tran is described as an outdoorsman, approximately five foot five inches tall, average build, about 145 pounds. Hoang is a married father of two, and just recently celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife. He is a Vietnamese American who fled Vietnam in 1975 along with his seven brothers and one sister, states his family.
“He loves his community and is loved by his fellow students and teachers,” Andrea said. “He regularly organizes cultural events and volunteers his time to help his community. He loves his family very much and we miss him and would love him back.”